A stump, a hammer, and some nails are a trio together known as Hammerschlagen — a nail-pounding game that has a Chaska brewery and a Stillwater company at odds.
Entertainment business WRB, Inc. (also referred to as Hammer-Schlagen) filed a trademark and copyright lawsuit against Schram Haus Brewery for using the game’s brand even after multiple warnings, according to a United States District Court, District of Minnesota complaint filed mid-December.
The complaint alleges Schram Haus, owned by Aaron and Ashley Schram, renamed the game to “Schrammerschlagen” and promoted Hammerschlagen tournaments and competitions in 2019.
In August 2020, WRB mailed a pamphlet to Schram Haus and noted its registered trademarks and intellectual property which included the game and instructions, the complaint states.
After reported continued use of the game and copyrighted rules, WRB sent a cease-and-desist letter to the brewery and did not receive a response, according to the complaint.
WRB claims the Schram Haus’ use of the game and its image “has caused actual confusion among customers” and caused WRB “irreparable harm,” according to the complaint.
Minneapolis lawyer Mark Anfinson, who specializes in First Amendment law and represents this newspaper, said he can’t determine whether the claim is viable or not at this point. He did note that the defendants will likely spend thousands of dollars in legal fees regardless.
Schram Haus Brewery denied a request for comment, and Hammer-Schlagen did not respond to multiple requests for comment.